Everybody knows Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".
But did you read the beginning (v4-9) where God sends his disobedient and defiant people into exile for a period of learning time? This is the back story and the part where you insert you into this story if God has ever set you down for a spell to change your ways. I like to think of exile as growth time, and God instructed them as to how they needed to grow before they came back home.
And he told them to stop listening to outside voices. You know the ones that keep telling you to relapse, that life was better on the other side. Kind of like the Prodigal Son. Those voices didn't come from him. but from those opposing him and taking folks away from the path God wanted them to follow.
God stayed with them during this time and then told them (v10-11) that there was an exit time if they paid attention. And then he mentioned the plans, prosperity and hope. The set down time is rehab time, time to learn how to grow into a man or woman of God. Not a fun time, but a time to heal.
Then, he gives them the benefits of being Set Free instead of being set down in V12-14: Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
Set Free - Indeed!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.